Another Wardrobe Malfunction Thanks To RA

It happened again.  And it’s far less exciting than Janet Jackson exposing herself at the Super Bowl, but possibly no less embarrassing.

Although this time I was at home…But no one else was at home with me to help.

I planned to wear a dress that I hadn’t worn in a while, and steroids be damned, I’ve gained weight in places that just made the dress not wearable.  And I hadn’t had the foresight to realize this and try the dress on before I actually had to get dressed and go to where I was going…in order to avoid getting stuck in it.

But then I couldn’t get it off.  And I couldn’t very well actually wear the dress.

To be clear, I was stuck because of RA.  The fact that I’ve gained weight due to steroids and didn’t feel comfortable wearing the dress is an unfortunate byproduct of RA that I’ll talk about at another time.

But anyway…In an act of complete desperation, I started searching for the scissors.  I really thought I would have to end up cutting the dress off of myself.

And this time, I was practically driven to tears because I was so frustrated.  Is this really happening to me again?  And no one was coming home before I had to leave, so I was really on my own this time.

As embarrassed as I was the last time this happened, being in a store, and being stuck in a dress, at least there were other people around I could beg for help.

I had a few options.  I considered throwing another dress in my bag, putting on my pink trench coat, and discreetly having my boyfriend help me out of the offending dress once we met up where we were going.  But this wasn’t the best option because I would end up seeing other people before him, and they would probably wonder what the heck was wrong with me, why I wouldn’t take my coat off.

And my visions of wearing a trench coat (and only a trench coat) for my boyfriend involves sexiness and seduction – not that, that has or ever will happen – not help me out of this dress because I’m stuck and I can’t get out of it.  Because that is so totally not sexy.

Why does RA have to be such a buzz kill?  I want to feel young and sexy and beautiful, and instead I end up feeling old and boring and fat.  I don’t want to have to worry about getting stuck in clothing, and I don’t want to have to worry about unmitigated steroid bloat.

I think what we really need is a device like one of those Life Alert things.  You know, the whole “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”, but instead, the message is, I’m stuck and I can’t get out.  Please help!  Come quick!

While I’ve learned that I can’t maneuver well with buttons and snaps, my fashion sense may still be skewed toward look rather than comfort and ease of maneuvering in and out of clothing – especially when it comes to dresses – because who really wants that to supersede fashion?

So how did I escape this time?  Well, it was a magic trick that rivals Houdini.  I can’t say how much time went by because I’m sure it felt longer than it actually was.  I shimmied (did a horrible, uncoordinated little dance) using my arms and torso, and eventually I was able to get out of the dress.  But by then I was sweaty and exhausted.  I didn’t want to go anywhere, and I wanted to get into my pajamas, which I can get in and out of very easily.  If that’s one thing RA has taught me, I probably hold the world record for getting from “real” clothes into pajamas in seconds.

But I’m glad I didn’t have to cut myself out of my dress, because it is a cute dress, and one I plan to wear again as soon as this stupid steroid bloat subsides.

In the grand scheme, this may seem minor, like there are so many more important things to worry about when it comes to RA.  But it’s important that those around us – our doctors, our families, our friends, understand that quality of life encompasses a lot of different aspects of life, and these everyday difficulties should be acknowledged and understood.  Because this is what life with RA looks like for far too many of us.

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